Before setting myself some challenges for 2013, I thought I'd look back to my 2012 Challenges post and see how I did.
My first challenge was to have more cut flowers in the house. I had intended to grow a cutting patch at the allotment which would help with this challenge, but the rainy weather we experienced this year made this a challenge in itself, so I ended up buying nearly all of the flowers for my challenge. Many of the flowers came from the reduced bin in the local supermarket and I managed to get some real bargains, like these gorgeous tulips which have been brightening up the house over Christmas. I got these for the princely sum of £1.25 and they've lasted about a week.
My tulips usually droop as soon as they come in to the house. I've tried putting some copper coins in the bottom of the vase, as I'd read that this would stop them from drooping, but it didn't really work, but this time, after hearing of another tip to keep them standing tall, I pricked the stalk right beneath the flower. It's worked wonders, so this is what I shall do with my tulips from now on.
Another bargain were these roses and carnations which I bought at the beginning of December. These were only £2.00. I liked the colour combination, and they looked beautiful once they'd all opened up.
I've actually managed to have a continual supply of flowers in the house throughout the year, so what has it cost me? The total amount I've spent on flowers this year is £48.69, less than £1.00 per week. This is something which I'll continue with, perhaps not a continual supply, but I shall certainly keep my eyes on the bargain bin in the supermarket for flowers which have been reduced, they really do brighten my day to have them in the house.
My second challenge was to read at least one book per month. I'd got out of the habit of reading, even though it was something I was really keen on before the kids came along. Lack of time meant that I hardly ever picked up a book, so this was a challenge I was eager to succeed with.
During December, I read The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith and The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by the same author. I'd promised to swap this book with Sft from Sft's Life After Mortgage, so it's now winging it's way to her.
I actually managed to read 23 books in 2012, so I very nearly doubled the total figure I'd set myself. Again, this is something I'd like to continue with in to 2013, so I've got a pile of books ready and waiting to be read.
I challenged myself to do more knitting and crochet in 2012 and aimed to have at least one finished project each month. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and did manage a finished project each month. My finished item for December was another crocheted cushion, one which was a replica of the one I finished in November, and I just managed to get it done in time to use on Christmas Day, after finishing it late on Christmas Eve.
My mum was thrilled with the lap blanket I crocheted her for Christmas. I'm so pleased that she liked it.
Eating healthily has been the hardest of my challenges. I did manage to lose two stone six pounds, or thirty four pounds, but some of this weight has gone back on. I did really well during the first part of the year, but I went back to my old ways when I went on holiday and it was really hard to get going with it all again. I'm ending the year lighter than when it started though, so it's a success of sorts. I really need to try harder with this challenge.
The last challenge I set myself was to walk more. I did really well with this, and I really enjoy walking and taking in my surroundings, but this is another challenge which dropped off a bit towards the back end of the year as Archie developed a limp at the beginning of September, and it's only now that he's able to walk longer distances again. We think that he pulled something in his leg when he was chased in to a rock pool by a Dalmation on a visit to the seaside.
It's taken a long time to heal, but I'm confident we'll be back to our long walks again in the not too distant future.
All that remains now is to set myself some challenges for 2013. I don't know what they'll be yet, but I want to make them fun like they've been this year. It's so much easier to stick to something you enjoy.